Ultimate guide to cruising dress code with Ambassador

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Planning an upcoming cruise can be an exciting experience, and if you’re booking an Ambassador cruise, you’re bound to be visiting some of the world's most awe-inspiring locations as well as enjoying all that our amazing ships have to offer. But as with planning any trip, there are things to consider when packing, and we’re here to help you understand what you should be wearing onboard Ambience or Ambition.

Read on to learn about the different dress codes you can expect when on an Ambassador when you need to adopt them, and the sort of items you should ensure you have packed in your suitcase. As well as some of our recommendations, you can find suggestions and comments from actual Ambassador guests who have cruised with us before.

Please note: Dress codes aren’t compulsory and are just advised. We want our guests to feel comfortable and relaxed, so less formal wear can also be adopted as long as the alternative is appropriate.  

Formal dress code

Formal nights on an Ambassador cruise are a wonderful chance to get glammed up and feel extra special for a night of celebration. Formal wear should be adopted on Ambassador planned ‘formal nights’ or gala nights as they are sometimes called. Depending on the length of your cruise, you can expect a couple of formal nights, and clothing is usually cocktail dresses for the ladies and dinner jackets or formal suits for the gentlemen. If you have booked to dine at the chef’s table, this is another great opportunity to get dressed up in your finery.

2-5 night cruises – 1 formal night

6-20 night cruises – 2 formal nights

21-41 night cruises – 3 formal nights

Over 42-night cruises – 5 formal nights

Please note: Jeans, t-shirts, shorts and open-neck shirts are not permitted in the main restaurant on Formal or Gala evenings. 

Lynne Cantle was a guest on a recent Ambassador cruise and loved the formal evenings, explaining a little more in this statement: “I love the chance to dress up on a formal night. It gives me a chance to wear clothes I very rarely wear otherwise. I don’t do full ballgowns, just long dresses dressed up with jewellery. My husband loves to wear a dinner suit or white tuxedo in the Caribbean. There are alternatives for people who don’t want to dress up, and it absolutely has no impact on my enjoyment of what other people choose to wear. Lots of ladies wear black trousers and sparkly tops on formal nights, which are good, especially on long cruises to mix and match. One tip for the evening is that I’m a cold person and like to have a shawl/pashmina to put around my shoulders.”

Sandra Drakes, another keen cruiser with Ambassador, also commented on her experience on a formal night: “As Ambassador are a "traditional cruise line", formal nights are part and parcel of that ethos. It is lovely to see people embrace the idea and wear (men) suits/tuxedos/national dress, (women) cocktail dresses, long dresses, glitzy tops with trousers. For anyone who doesn't wish to be part of these special nights, there is the option of going to the more casual buffet restaurant.”

Smart dress code

A smart dress code can be worn on any night, but especially on more formal nights on the ship as well as when visiting the Buckingham Restaurant or watching an evening show at The Palladium. On these evenings, a suit or smart jacket and trousers, with or without a tie, for the men is suggested, and the ladies have further opportunities to look elegant in cocktail dresses or trouser suits.

The Buckingham Restaurant is one of the more formal dining areas onboard the ship, and when there isn’t a formal night, a smarter dress code is encouraged for those visiting, although not critical. A similar rule applies for some of our shows at The Palladium, but if you’re unsure about what to wear, smart trousers and a shirt or a dress or skirt are always a great choice.

Casual dress code

A casual dress code can be adopted most of the time on our cruises. We want our guests to feel comfortable and relaxed, meaning when you’re exploring the ship and enjoying a sea day, you can wear whatever feels the most comfortable. The same goes for port days, port days are your time to explore stunning destinations, so a comfy outfit and appropriate footwear and outerwear are always advised.

READ MORE: How to spend a sea day on an Ambassador cruise

Teresa Hickford told us a little more about what she wore on a cruise to Iceland: “When visiting Iceland, I would definitely suggest layers and a couple of jumpers even in summer. A good windproof raincoat. Many people say they wore shorts and a t-shirt in Iceland in summer, but in early July this year, it was mostly very cool and cloudy with really strong biting wind at times that made it feel way colder.”

Depending on the cruise you have booked and the locations you are visiting, you will need different casual clothes. For those enjoying cruises to Scandinavian countries or cruise to Canada, warmer clothes, coats, hats and scarves are advised, as the weather can get extremely cold and unpredictable. But for those planning to enjoy a warmer cruise, such as a Mediterranean cruise, make sure you have a selection of layers packed, including airy clothes and layers for the nippy evenings.

And, for those lucky enough to enjoy one of our around the world cruises, you’ll likely need to ensure you’ve packed for every climate as you’ll be experiencing destinations from Singapore to South Africa.

If you’re looking forward to an upcoming Ambassador cruise but have some concerns and queries about what to wear. Hopefully, this guide has given your insight into the clothes and outfits you should pack, so you can sit back and enjoy a 2024 cruise.

For more advice on everything Ambassador and destination guides to inspire your travel, be sure to check out our blog.